Reducing Conflict 30 Spread the Joy

March 6, 2022

When you spread joy to other people, it comes back to you in multiple ways. It is a law of nature: like gravity. This series of articles has been about how to reduce conflict in your life.

You are in Control of Your Life

Take the opportunity to improve your relationships at work and at home. The quality of your life is not a random variable.  It has to do with what is going on between your ears. Constantly tend to the needs of other people and provide service where you can.  You will find that the joy you bring to others creates a kind of reciprocal joy within yourself.

Manufacture Joy

By following the advice in this series of articles, you will experience lower conflict in your own life, and that is the best way to manufacture joy.  To be helpful, I am including an index of the 30 articles in this series along with links to the short video for each one.  You can scan the titles to review the articles and videos you find most helpful.

My intention is to continue this series of articles, although the attached video series is now complete.  It was originally a series of short videos that I completed six years ago in cooperation with the Avanoo Company.

  1. Why Can’t We Just Get Along https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz8Z1PF7xEg
  2. The Wisdom of Many Views https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIwHvfTDuKE
  3. Too Much Team Spirit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH5kJ8EKqPM
  4. Bad Politics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMba0W1Z-Uw
  5. The Power of Flights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QETek1SjPA
  6. Double Sided Labels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90J7ZSb4sxc
  7. The Root of All Conflict https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7PTp1aSB6g
  8. What They Have to Fix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctKB0Uiv094
  9. Your Attitude https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3eMEyJd2wU
  10. Retrain Your Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMoUMmDEug
  11. Building in Lag Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DChwrf9hXwI
  12. Return to Center https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg2nRhnvIMg
  13. Fussy People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA3cPLC6g9w
  14. Shrinking Bullies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq1YOuXkP64
  15. Coaching the Narcissist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzHNG-N1CGM
  16. Lighting People Up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FPOFxVaxTc
  17. Get a Word in Edgewise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X–gb3lDAa0
  18. Reverse Roles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQjWLy_0l48
  19. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh1993Zv6-M
  20. Live and Let Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDgKFItJIlk
  21. Take a Mental Vacation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikYxbqQmNSs
  22. Care for Other People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW0SQ8xE598
  23. Extend More Trust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cIw_lY58QM
  24. Don’t Talk Behind Backs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KMDPoTg0y8
  25. Stop Acting Like Children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJMZ8TuperA
  26. Listen More Than Speak https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBPbfFReicw
  27. Create Development Plan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rno1aGBrJq0
  28. Write Your Own Eulogy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJrD6zvWFQ
  29. Follow the Golden Rule https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G02XJ1WXmmQ
  30. Spread the Joy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f32WK3BdIE

I hope you have enjoyed this content and will refer to it often to keep it fresh in your mind.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to Spread the Joy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f32WK3BdIE

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.


Reducing Conflict 31 Time Out

February 27, 2022

Imagine that you had a way to tell the leader of a meeting that you are bored with the current discussion and wished the conversation could move on to a more helpful topic. 

Now imagine you could share your thought with others to test if they agreed with you without getting them or the leader upset.  If that seems like a utopia, just read on; this article has the solution to many hours of wasted time spent in meetings.

Develop a Charter

I advocate that each team should have some kind of Charter that allows the participants of team meetings to establish a set of ground rules to be as efficient as possible. At any time in its existence, a team can establish a few rules that will save everyone an amazing amount of frustration.

The team should be a group of mature individuals who all have their mutual best interests at heart. It helps a lot if there is real trust within the team.  Then just a quick brainstorm can generate a few basic rules.  For example, here are three rules that can lead to a more effective group process:

  1. We will start and end our meetings on time.
  2. We will listen to each other’s input and not grandstand.
  3. We will not make jokes at the expense of any team member.

Use the Familiar Time Out Hand Signal

One incredibly powerful team rule is the use of the “Time Out” signal.  The hand signal is the familiar one from football, where the referee puts the tips of the fingers of one hand to the palm of the other hand to form the letter “T.” Once a group has established that it is safe to do this, something magic happens.

Each member of the team becomes empowered to let his or her thoughts be known when the group appears to be spinning wheels.  The time out sign is merely calling the question by letting the leader know that at least one individual thinks the team would be better off moving to a different topic.  Because of the agreement that no individual will receive punishment for making the gesture, team members are free to use it when the situation arises.

In ensuring that no person feels punished by calling the question, the team leader’s actions are critical.

Team Leader’s Role

The team leader should now say something like this, “I see Jake is signaling that he wants to move on. Are the rest of you in agreement? Let’s do a quick vote by thumbs up for agreeing with Jake and thumbs down if you disagree.”  If most of the team members show affirmative body language or verbal response, then the subject can immediately shift to something more valuable. Imagine how refreshing this method would be in those all-day meetings that seem to drag on forever.

Conclusion

Just this one hand signal can save any team hours of tedious repetition or arguments, once the team agrees to use it.  Every member of the team needs to adhere to the “Do Not Punish” rule for it to work over time.

I advocate that you encourage your team at work to discuss and approve the use of the “time out” gesture and other basic rules. These rules can significantly improve the productivity and empowerment of any team. 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. 

 


Reducing Conflict 29 Follow the Golden Rule

February 21, 2022

Our parents taught most of us this simple rule when we were young, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In our culture, we call this rule the “Golden Rule,” because if we follow it well, our lives will be more fulfilling and we will experience less conflict with others.

The Golden Rule has been around since biblical times and it has served mankind well, but there are some interesting twists and turns when using this rule that I will discuss in this brief article.

Special Case When You Should NOT Use the Golden Rule

Suppose I am a “work-a-holic” personality.  I am happy and at my best when I am totally overloaded with work. It makes me feel great to be doing more than most people could endure.  

If I go around and expect everyone else to have that frame of mind, people are going to be highly annoyed with me. I show little empathy for people who want a balance in their life.

Enter The Platinum Rule

In 2016, Dave Kerpen wrote “The Platinum Rule” in his book, The Art to People. The rule is “Do unto others as they would like done unto them.” That rule does resolve the issue with the Golden Rule, but it carries many dangers of a different nature.

If you recognize that all people would like more of the “Good Stuff” in life, and they may not be interested in being prudent with how they get it, applying the Platinum Rule would inevitably lead to all kinds of excesses. People want more chocolate cake, even if they are overweight.   People want more money, even if they have to obtain it with questionable activities. People want more gratification, even if there are societal norms that must be honored. 

Trying to apply the Platinum Rule looks like a good idea until you stop and think about the ramifications involved in doing so. If you treat each person exactly how he or she wants to be treated, it is going to lead to some serious consequences that you may not have considered.

A Pragmatic Solution

The conundrum here is that trying to make a single rule that is universally applicable is not going to work.  There will be situations where neither the Golden Rule nor the Platinum rule will lead to optimal results.  A better solution came from Lou Holtz in his famous video, “Do Right.” Lou simply stated a rule to “treat people the right way.”

In most cases, treating people the right way involves following the Golden Rule, so that becomes the standard. When there is an oddball situation, then you need to modify the rule to take that into account.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to follow the Golden Rule.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 

 


Reducing Conflict 28 Write Your Own Eulogy

February 14, 2022

A eulogy is a very important concept in our society. We intend it to be a way to celebrate the life of a departed loved one by recalling several of the things that person did well during his or her life.  A eulogy is normally a somber document, because the person writing it is in grief over the loss of the loved one, yet it also has tinges of happiness as the reader recalls the greatness of the individual.

Helpful Exercise

One practice I advocate for professional people is to sit down and write your own eulogy. Include all the things you would want your friends or loved ones to say about you after you are gone. Be lavish with praise for your strong characteristics.  You can also include some irony or even jokes about areas where things were not optimal in your life.

The exercise is a little strange, I will grant, but it has a fantastic payoff if you take it seriously.  Once your eulogy is complete, step back and ask yourself seriously how likely your friends or loved ones would use similar words to what you wrote about yourself.

The Benefits of Doing This Exercise

You may find the analysis rather unsettling, but there is a huge payoff.  You are not dead yet, so there is still time for you to modify your actions and behaviors to move in the direction of your ideal self. How would you like people to remember you? What actions can you take now that can ensure people will see you that way when you are gone?

Example from My Past

My parents were married in July of 1941. Mom put a gold wedding ring on Dad’s finger. He never took the ring off for any reason until after her death at 98 on October 8, 2010. After that time his hands were so frail that the ring would not stay on. For my father, the ring was a sacred symbol of his love for my mother. 

My father died four years later (to the day) on October 8, 2014. Both of my parents were cremated, per their wishes, so we could place the urns with their ashes in the same crypt in our family mausoleum. The urns were actually touching each other. 

At the funeral, I gave the eulogy for my father standing on the exact spot where my parents were married 73 years earlier. I pulled the ring out from my coat pocket and held it up.  I told the story of how that ring never his hand until after she died. I said, “This ring was a symbol of Dad’s love for Mom, so there is only one place where the ring should reside.” I unscrewed the top of the urn that held his ashes and dropped the ring in, so he would have it for eternity as he was with my mother in the crypt.

Dad would have been very proud of that eulogy, because it matched exactly how he felt and lived his life.

Take the Time to Write Your Own Eulogy

While you are still alive, take some time and write out the things you wish other people would say about you at your funeral. Then you can modify your behaviors to be a closer match to that ideal version of you.

 Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to write your own eulogy.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 

 


Reducing Conflict 27 Create Your Own Development Plan

February 7, 2022

One of the most helpful things you can do as a professional is to create your own development plan. There are several reasons for this that I will share in this article along with some tips on how to do it efficiently.

Focus On Your Own Development Needs

In any organization, it is easy for a professional to become fixated on what other people need to do to improve. We see the flaws in others clearly, so it is only natural to try to “fix” the other person to be more perfect, like you. Obviously, there is a false logic to this way of approaching other people.

Keeps You Humble

We all need to improve in some ways.  By having a concrete plan to improve in areas where you need to, it keeps the focus on what is most important.  Since we are rarely good at spotting our own deficiencies, the exercise of creating a development plan demonstrates humility rather than hubris.

Less Critical of Others

Having a plan that you willingly share with other people about how you are trying to improve yourself, means you have less mental energy focused on other people. This habit will endear you to the people around you as long as you are humble about it. 

It is even helpful to verbalize your plan and ask for assistance.  You might say to your officemate, “This month I am focusing on being less judgmental of other people. Let me know if you see the difference.”

Process to do It

To get a good development plan, you first need to know where you are deficient. Brainstorm ways you were critical of others in the past.

Often when you become annoyed with another person’s shortcomings, it is a reflection of your own deficiencies in that same area. This analysis requires deep soul-searching and brutal honesty. It may help to have a discussion with some friends or family about your intention to improve and request assistance in finding what areas need the most help.

Select One Thing at a Time to Improve

Don’t try to tackle five different areas at once. That will be too hard and confusing. Pick one item on your list and focus on doing better in that area for the next month or so. When other people remark that you are much more robust in that area, you can move on to another opportunity.

Celebrate Your Growth

Sticking with these ideas may seem hard at first, but it will become more natural as you repeat the cycle after a few weeks with another area. Be sure to celebrate somehow in private or even in public, if the growth is evident to other people and can be done without being self-serving.

You might arrange for a special meal for you and your spouse. You might buy a particular garment you have been admiring for a while. Reinforcing yourself for a job well done will encourage you to put more energy into the next cycle.

Conclusion

Focusing energy on things where you can improve personally is a healthy habit. Not only will it lead to less conflict in your life, but you will be a more popular person in the minds of others.

 Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to create your own development plan.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 

 


Reducing Conflict 26 Listen More Than You Speak

January 31, 2022

To reduce conflict in any organization, plan to listen more than you speak. The ancient Greek Philosopher, Epictetus said. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

When you are in conflict with another individual, it is human nature to advocate for your side of the argument.  Usually, that involves doing a lot of talking.

You Don’t Hear Well When You Are Talking

The problem is that when you are talking it dramatically reduces your ability to understand the other person’s perspective.  Your mind becomes preoccupied with selling your version of the issue. 

The irony is that in order to reduce or resolve the conflict, both parties need to understand both sides of the issue thoroughly.  That makes it imperative that you listen more than you speak when in conflict.

Few people are actually capable of behaving in that way, so conflicts drag on and deepen in most cases.  If you can remember this simple logic to close your mouth and open your ears you will find there is less conflict in your life.

Reversing Roles Can Help

Sometimes it can help to reverse the roles so that you advocate for the points your opponent makes.  I have written on that topic in another article, and there is a huge caveat with this method. Both people must play the game with integrity. If one person tries to manipulate the other while reversing roles, the technique can have very negative consequences.

Buy Yourself a Listening Hat

Have an imaginary listening hat that you figuratively put on when you are having a discussion with a highly emotional or agitated individual. The hat will remind you to amp up your listening focus.  When most people are “listening,” what they are actually focusing on is preparing to speak. The cure is to use reflective listening.

Use Reflective Listening

The technique of reflective listening is not new, but it is extremely powerful at helping you understand the points the other person is making. The technique has three steps as follows:

  1. Attend to the other person. In other words, eliminate distractions.
  2. Listen with much higher intensity than you normally do.
  3. Interject comments as appropriate to indicate that you understand.

It is vital to understand how to reflect back in a way that is helpful and not obvious. You should avoid just parroting the same words back to the other person. Try to interject a gesture or question that will indicate you are following the other person’s meaning without being redundant. Just a few reflections will give the feeling of following the conversation. If you use too many reflections or make them clumsy, then your attempt to improve rapport will backfire.

The technique of reflective listening takes too much energy to use it in casual conversation. That is where the Listening Hat idea is so helpful.  When you encounter a situation where the other person is emotional or highly worked up, that is the time to put on the hat and listen with greater care.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to improve your listening skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBPbfFReicw

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 


Reducing Conflict 25 Stop Acting Like Children

January 24, 2022

If you observe people in conflict at work, you can see their actions often resemble the actions of young children.  They are not consciously trying to be immature, but they exhibit the mannerisms that typically define kids in the schoolyard.

You can observe bullying, sulking, bribery, physical violence, tantrums, intimidation, along with a host of other juvenile behaviors.

It can be individual mannerisms or group-to-group activity.  It is so common that we almost expect to see it every day at work. The consequences of these activities are at least a distraction from the vital work we are supposed to be doing and at worst destroying the culture of the group. Is there no way out?  The hopeful answer is, there is a way out.

One Way to Stop It

I recall one group where I was a leader. There had been some child-like behaviors in the past.  When I asked the group how we wanted to tackle the problem, they said, “Let’s just make a rule that we will act like adults at all times. If someone is acting like a child, we will remind him or her of the rule that helps define our culture.”  

Having an agreed-upon intention was important in that case because it made the expected behavior highly visible. If someone was having a tantrum, we would just give a little hand signal that had the thumb and first finger very close together. It was a sign to make childish behavior very small.

Another group I heard about would use a verbal cue to remind people of the rule. When someone was acting like a child, they would say, “can I get you a cup of coffee?” Usually, that reminder was enough to stop the behavior. If it persisted, then the observing person would be encouraged to bring it to the attention of the manager.

What About Virtual Fights

Sometimes the fight takes place in the virtual world. One person will put out some “bait” in a nasty email and the other person will snap at it. Before long, the two people are fighting openly and the distribution gets embarrassingly large. 

The way to prevent email battles is to just not take the bait.  Simply do not respond to someone who is trying to bully you into a fight. Eventually, that person will realize that the tactic does not work on you.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to stop individuals and groups from acting like children.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 


Reducing Conflict 24 Don’t Talk Behind People’s Backs

January 17, 2022

A common way of creating conflict in an organization is to gossip about other people behind their backs.  No matter how you try to keep the bad-mouthing discreet, the information is eventually going to leak around the edges, and you will suffer a loss of trust.  

It is easy to observe small cliques generating rumors about other groups in order to gain positional power over them.  The dynamic is in play nearly every day in many organizations, and the price of such foolishness is huge. What if we could create an environment of high trust such that people would not play games with each other?

The cure

To prevent the inevitable conflict, make it your business to have high integrity and not work to undermine others behind their backs. I think it is helpful if a group gets together and established a group expectation that we will not spread rumors about each other.

That rule gives people permission to exit any conversation that seems to be heading in the direction of low integrity. People can simply stop the action by saying, “I am not interested in discussions that include speculation about other people.”

Why People Gossip

I believe that some people are inclined to gossip more than others. Sometimes it may be out of personal insecurity themselves. In addition, some people try to gain status or power by being a person “in the know.” The interesting phenomenon is that the person may be doing it to gain power when the end result is the exact opposite.

When people in the group recognize you as someone who spreads gossip about others, your power goes DOWN dramatically.  The reason is that people will be wary about what you might be telling others about them. If your intention was to amplify your own power, you are actually achieving the opposite.

Make Integrity a Value

By having a group value of high integrity, you can obtain consensus that we only speak in support of each other.  If something seems like it is not right, we will take it up with the other person directly. That is modeling a value of integrity that cuts through all the game-playing so people can begin to trust one another.

Leaders need to show the way by not allowing marginal discussions in their own sphere and insisting that others in the organization model the same behavior.  By doing so, you cut off the problem before it starts to undermine the morale of the group.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to create a culture where people don’t talk behind other people’s backs.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 


Reducing Conflict 23 Extend More Trust

January 10, 2022

If you are a leader and you want to see more trust within your group, your first order of business is to find ways to extend more trust. 

Many leaders fail to recognize this basic law of trust, and they picture their employees as being not trustworthy.  The reality is that the vast majority of people will act in a trustworthy manner if they are well led.

Leaders who fail to extend trust because their people are “not trustworthy” need to take a long hard look in the mirror to view the source of their problem.

I have witnessed numerous managers who beat on their people and have little faith in their capabilities. The employees habitually respond by lowering their performance to match their leader’s expectations.

Trust is reciprocal, so if you want to experience more trust within your group, you need to find ways to show more trust in them. 

Some Examples

If you cannot yet trust a professional colleague to handle a large and critical negotiation with another organization, perhaps you can trust her to assemble and present the relevant documentation for more experienced lawyers to use in the negotiation.

If you cannot trust your teenage son to drive the car to a late-night party, perhaps you can trust him to check in with you if he needs help and to complete his homework before he leaves.

If you cannot yet trust a newly-hired mechanic to rebuild a complex transmission, perhaps you can trust him to assist in the disassembly and cleaning of the parts.

Show the tendency to trust more

By showing an inclination to trust other people to the edge of their capability you will encourage them to trust you back and be motivated to gain more skills for the future. They will almost always rise to meet your expectations.

Do not extend blind trust way beyond the current capability of the individual. That approach would be setting him up for failure. If there is a failure along the way, don’t persecute the individual, instead consider it a learning opportunity for the person.

We all learned to walk and talk by trial and error. We fell on our backside enough times to figure out how to balance our huge mass on two tiny feet.  When you think about the skill of walking upright, it really is a miracle we can do it, yet we just take it for granted in most cases.

Give people the blessing of learning by trial and error.  In the case of walking, coach them gently on how to obtain better balance.  Don’t yell at them for falling down. Praise them for getting back up and trying again. 

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to extend more trust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cIw_lY58QM

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 


Reducing Conflict 22 Care for Other People

January 3, 2022

The most potent way to reduce conflict within any group is to get the people to genuinely care for each other. It is so obvious, we sometimes forget.

There are always going to be stress points between people. That is a fact of life, but when people have the ability to rise above the petty annoyances and truly care for other people, the conflict has a short lifespan.

It’s pretty hard to stay mad at a person who just brought you a chocolate chip cookie as a surprise. Sometimes a soothing and gentle word is enough to change the vector of some inter-group squabbles.

Important concepts

I learned a lesson early in my career that stuck with me.  When you extend kindness when it is not expected, it has double the power. When you surprise someone with a gracious gesture, it really goes a long way.

Remember your body language

Another thing to remember is that it does not take tangible gifts to turn a sour situation sweet.  What you say is critical, and how you say it is even more important. 

Keep in mind that we extract more meaning from body language and tone of voice than the actual words that are being used.

If you are feeling anger toward another person, it will show all over your body.  When there is conflict, get into a happier state of mind before trying to patch things up.

Notes can help

Often a note that has the right flavor will reduce conflict between people. Imagine you and Mike had an argument on how to accomplish a tricky step on a project. You decided to go with Mike’s approach. 

Now imagine you wrote a note to Mike’s manager telling her how Mike’s contribution was pivotal in allowing a successful conclusion to the project.  You copy Mike on the note.  He is going to appreciate the gesture and may even send a note of thanks back to you.

Remember to praise in writing when possible. If there is some constructive criticism, keep that verbal because verbal input has a half-life. Notes remain forever.

Find Special Ways to Demonstrate That You Care

There are an infinite number of ways you can show another person you care about her.  One word of caution: make sure your gestures are genuine and not an act. When you put on a phony show of affection it can do more damage than you might think.

The other person will write you off as a jerk and your attempt to calm the situation will have backfired.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to care for other people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW0SQ8xE598

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.